fbpx

Deep Dive Into “Self Development” For B2B Sales Professionals

Jeff Bajorek is a sales expert who teaches authentic sales strategies and methods that drive massive results.

In this episode of The Salesman Podcast, we take a deep dive into mindset, free will, hustle, and the self-development a B2B sales professional needs to go through to come out on the other side as a winner.

You'll learn:

Sponsored by:
Win More Deals Or Your Money Back.
Selling Made Simple Academy: The proven way to improve sales results. Trusted by 2,000+ students.

Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Jeff Bajorek
Top Sales Performer and Sales Training Expert

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Coming up on today’s episode of the Salesman Podcast.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

What is a sale? A sale is accomplishing the motive of getting someone to act. So, it’s a very psychological process. If you can pay attention and look at the subtext and really look into why the stuff from 50 years ago worked, to why the stuff from five months ago still works. There are some common themes there.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

So, it’s not about just taking a field manual like a lot of sales coaches did 30 or 40 years ago and they said, “Look, here’s how to do it. If you just follow this script, if you follow this playbook, you will succeed more often than you won’t.” That I think is cheating. That’s the shortcut.

 

Will Barron:

Hello, sales nation. I’m Will Barron, host of the Salesman Podcast, the world’s most listened to B2B sales show. If you haven’t already, make sure to click subscribe, and with that, let’s meet today’s guest.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Hi. My name’s Jeff Bajorek and I help sales teams design and implement their strategies. And according to Will Barron, I am a world-leading sales coach. He told me that about a year and a half ago when I was first on this show and I’m starting to believe him. That’s what we’re going to talk about today. You can find me at Jeffbajorek.com and I hope to speak with you soon.

 

Will Barron:

On this episode of the show, the legend is Jeff. We’re diving into essentially self-development for salespeople. What we go down the rabbit hole into free will, into essentially the first few steps you should take. If you haven’t done any self-development, if you haven’t worked on yourself, your mindset, if you overthink the sales process, if you make assumptions about other people that hold you back, we cover all that and more. And so, let’s jump right in.

 

Will Barron:

So, we’re going to be talking about self-development on this episode of the show, and even just that phrase will split the audience. So, half the audience are going, “Tony Robbins! I love all this stuff and the self-help books,” and just perhaps even sales training and training outside of sales, which may or may not translate into bad sales performance. The other half of the audience are going, “This sounds like a scam. This seems like nonsense. I know Jerry. He’s an incredible salesperson and he’s never read a book.”

 

Do Salespeople Need to Work on Developing Themselves? · [02:02] 

 

Will Barron:

So, with all that said, and hopefully and these episodes are the best when they are polarising, with the polarising nature of that phrase, self-development or personal development or wherever we want to say, self-help, is it important for salespeople to work on developing themselves? Is it a prerequisite to having success in B2B sales?

 

“If you’re not going to develop yourself, who’s going to? If you’re not going to get better, who’s going to? If you’re not experiencing the results that you want, there’s a reason for that. And if you were doing everything that you needed to, you would already be where you want to be.” – Jeff Bajorek · [02:32] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Well, with apologies to the half of your audience that just shut this episode off, we’re sad to see you go. You should really come back. If you’re not going to develop yourself, who’s going to? If you’re not going to get better, who’s going to? If you’re not experiencing the results that you want, there’s a reason for that. And if you were doing everything that you needed to, you would already be where you want to be.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And self-help gets a bad rap. You’re absolutely right. And you know what? There are a lot of, quote, “Gurus,” out there who have taken advantage of people and taken their money. And there are snakes in that world the same way there were more snakes in kind of our profession in terms of selling and professional salesmanship or saleswomanship, if that applies to you, too.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Actually, I asked a lady once. I said, “Should I call it saleswoman? Do I-” She’s like, “Jeff, would you just make your point? It’s okay. Really, it’s okay. The gender thing’s okay.”

 

Jeff Bajorek:

So, I feel confident saying that now, but if you’re not going to take responsibility for your outcomes, then who will? And leaving it up to somebody else goes against every fundamental principle of personal responsibility that exists. If you’re not going to raise your kids, who will? If you’re not going to pay your bills, who will? If you’re not going to get a job, and I think my feeling is, if I’m going to get a job, if I’m going to do some work, I might as well enjoy it. And in order for me to enjoy it, I feel like I need to be successful at it. And if I’m going to be successful at it, I take that responsibility upon myself.

 

How Much of Personal Development is a Mindset and How Much Comes from the Need to Perfect a Craft? · [04:01] 

 

Will Barron:

So, how much of this then comes down to what we class typically as mindset, of understanding our worth and if there’s any issues about talking about money, solving these kind of things, and how much of it comes down to self-development on the front of understanding or better understanding a sales process, understanding perhaps Keenan, I just did an interview with Keenan, his philosophy of gap selling, or there’s the challenger model and all these different types of approaches and strategies to selling. How much of it comes down to improving our thought pattern and processes and I guess the operating system underneath everything and how much of it comes down to strategy techniques and I guess knowledge?

 

Jeff Bajorek:

I think, particularly as it relates to selling, if you have read a few books and you’ve really paid attention and not just what’s coming out there currently. I mean, challenger was five, 10 years ago. Gap selling just came out recently. I finished that very quickly because it’s excellent. And I’ll be speaking to Keenan on my show here, actually in a couple of weeks. But when you look at the stuff that’s coming out more recently, you look at the stuff that’s come out a half a dozen years ago, and you look at the stuff that came out 30 or 40 or 50 years ago, particularly as it relates to mindset, as it relates to selling and as it relates to just the principles that go into getting someone to act, what is a sale? A sale is accomplishing the motive of getting someone to act. So, it’s a very psychological process. If you can pay attention and look at the subtext and really look into why the stuff from 50 years ago worked, to why the stuff from five months ago still works. There are some common themes there.

 

“It’s not about just taking a field manual like a lot of sales coaches did 30 or 40 years ago and they said, “Look, here’s how to do it. If you just follow this script, if you follow this playbook, you will succeed.” More often than you won’t. I think that is cheating. That’s the shortcut. That is the, “I’m not going to think for myself at all about why this works. I’m just going to do what I’m told.” And a lot of people like that.” – Jeff Bajorek · [05:49] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

So, it’s not about just taking a field manual like a lot of sales coaches did 30 or 40 years ago and they said, “Look, here’s how to do it. If you just follow this script, if you follow this playbook, you will succeed more often than you won’t.” That I think is cheating. That’s the shortcut. That is the, “I’m not going to think for myself at all about why this works. I’m just going to do what I’m told.” And a lot of people like that. Let me show up for work. Let me punch in. Let me just do what I’m told, follow the script and I’ll be successful enough to feed my family and go live a life.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And to circle back and answer your question, when you can distil all the things that work in common with all of those approaches, you’ve got the skill set down. Then it becomes mindset. Then it becomes about belief. So, you certainly need to know why stuff works. But beyond that, once you understand why it works, it’s Keenan putting in a different perspective than Napoleon Hill did 80 years ago. Clearly, and he uses much different language, as we both know, but that’s because it has to resonate with a society now. But it’s really just codifying all of the principles that underscore why those sales processes work. And that’s why my business is focused around those principles. And then what happens is you take those principles that you use in your sales career, and they also apply to your relationships outside of work.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

They apply to the way you interact with people in your community, the way you interact with people at your church group or whatever, if there’s a faith-based group of people that you interact with, or the way you get free dessert at the restaurant with your kids, because you just treat people with uncommon respect, or you just entertain them. I mean, what I’ve learned about sales has overflowed into the rest of my life in ways that I’m so ever grateful for. And that has then refuelled my desire to continue to pursue helping other people do the same thing.

 

Will Barron:

So, tell me if you’ve seen this phenomenon, Jeff, because I’ve seen it many times now, and this shows me the power of having the correct mindset, of just being enthusiastic. And this translates really well on that particular point of I’ve seen this phenomenon. I’ve worked in sales for, say, in the organisation two, three years. I know the products better than anyone else. I know my customers really well. I’ve got these good relationships.

 

Will Barron:

Then someone comes in, they’re 19, they’re full of energy and they don’t know nothing about anything and they just come in and just smash their target to bits. And perhaps the targets are set somewhat similarly and they just come in with that much passion, that much enthusiasm to get on the phone. And they’re relentless in a positive way. And they win, even though they haven’t got all the stuff that the skill-based things that perhaps I or other people worked on it.

 

Will Barron:

And I’ve somewhat been in this scenario myself, selling in a team with kind of 40, 50, 60 year olds when I was 20 odd. I would just be so happy and so naive. And now you’ve heard the best way to describe it. That my enthusiasm was contagious, people liked me in medical devices being in the operating room with them. And so, they would choose to work with me over their competitor who was a bit of a know-it-all perhaps, or to set up that kind of picture of things.

 

The First Steps Towards Self-development · [09:16] 

 

Will Barron:

So, with that said, Jeff, how do we know what the first thing is to work on, because it makes sense to work on the principles of sales. It makes sense to have a methodology. It makes sense to, if we are not confident and not necessarily I’m talking about being extroverted or introverted, but just confidence in general, it makes sense to work on that. It makes sense to work at all of it. So, how do we know where we should start with our self-development?

 

“I like the word belief more than confidence because belief is a more thorough word. It’s a more profound kind of term. It’s not just, “Okay. I think I can do this.” It’s that, “I know in my soul, that this is worth doing.” And when you can believe in yourself, in the products that you serve or what you use to serve those solutions that you have, when you can believe in the company that you work for, that is what keeps you resilient in those times when it’s difficult.” – Jeff Bajorek · [09:40] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

I start with belief and I liked the word belief more than confidence because belief, it’s a more thorough word. It’s a more profound kind of term. It’s not just, “Okay. I think I can do this.” It’s that, “I know in my soul, that this is worth doing.” And when you can believe in yourself, when you can believe in the products that you serve or that you use to serve those solutions that you have, when you can believe in the company that you work for, that is what keeps you resilient in those times when it’s difficult. And that belief translates early on into sometimes just brazen enthusiasm like, “I’m so happy to be here. I just hired on with this company and I am ready to roll. And I don’t even know what I don’t know yet, but I am here to talk to you, Mr. Customer, and I can’t wait to work with you.”

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And now here’s the thing. That’s a differentiator. So, maybe you as the established person working in the territory, maybe your territory was cut in half, because this happens a lot. Your territory was split. We’re going to put more feet on the street. Blah, blah, blah. And you say, “All right, kid. Good luck. Go. I’ve been calling on that guy for three years. Never been able to get anywhere. And you’re just going to waltz right in there? That’s fine.”

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And then that kid goes in there with this boundless enthusiasm and it’s a differentiator because you’ve been in the territory for two or three years. You already soured on the commission structure being reset or there’s some other thing that has just gotten into your kitchen. And you’ve got a bad attitude.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And someone walks in there and they’re different. They’re a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. And maybe that’s all it took to get the attention of somebody. And maybe it was just the right place at the right time with the right person but that differentiator got someone’s attention. And then this kid comes in and says, “I don’t know what I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I can help you because you’ve been a prospect on this list for a long time. So, look, can you help me?” And all of a sudden, you’ve got this genuine vulnerability of someone’s like, “I can’t believe I got this appointment, but I know you’re important. And I know you know you’re important. So, hey, can we just work together on this?”

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Now, all of a sudden you’ve got someone who’s a joy to work with who’s looking to collaborate, not to hit a number. And that makes a difference. And sometimes it’s just the right combination, it’s just the right recipe that catches that prospect in the way they need to be caught.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

I think that differentiator is an important thing. I also think it’s important to know that it’s not just a playbook that can sell. It’s not just a playbook that resonates. It’s not a script that resonates. People need to be reached in the way they need to be reached, and that’s not always the way you can reach them.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

So, there’s some ego that needs to be checked by you as the experienced sales rep. I mean, I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this working in sales organisations. The way I did it was so different from the way the guy across town did it, but we were both really successful. So, I mean, there’s something to be said about that.

 

Will Barron:

I would never say I was really successful. I was always kind of average, a bit above average, kind of a middle player. But with that said, I did a few things with just naivety that was really interesting. One of the things that I remember the sales meeting and maybe second or third sales meeting I’d ever been to, and this got flagged up. And it was like, “How are you getting away with that?” And one of the things, as I would be calling on surgeons, I’ve got the mobile number and I’d even just text them or call them.

 

Will Barron:

So, you’re supposed to go through their secretary. You’re supposed to go through a personal assistant, whatever they have. Some secretaries even like you to go through, in the theatre environments, for people not familiar, there’d be a senior member of nursing staff. They would like you to go through them to arrange time, to come in and have a formal meeting.

 

Will Barron:

I wouldn’t do any of that. If I was in the hospital and I’ve seen urology, I’d literally just, I don’t know. I shouldn’t have been doing this because there’s loads of reasons why, but I’d be in my suit. Everyone’s gowned up. I just opened the door and stick me head in. We go, “How’s it going? Is everyone okay? Is there anything we can help with? Are the camera systems working fine?”

 

Will Barron:

And a lot of the time there’d be silly things like, “Oh, the printer’s jammed,” or, “We’ve got no paper for the printer. Could you kind of pinch us some?” And I’d always rob loads from the … Well, not necessarily rob it. I’d acquire it from the organisation when I’d go in and change camera systems and do work in-house. I would just buy a couple of boxes, or I wouldn’t buy it. I’m essentially stealing it and then I’d give out to my customers.

 

Will Barron:

It was like five for a pop, so no one’s bothered. But that was how I got into all these different conversations that people struggled with otherwise. And it wasn’t skill. It wasn’t that I was incredibly charismatic and that I’d learned how to build rapport quickly or built a process for this or a structure. It was just, I was too stupid to realise that I shouldn’t be sticking my head in a theatre, an operating room unless I was in scrubs and kind of gowned up. And I was happy to ring these individuals because they’d always pick up the phone because no one else was ringing them directly. Everyone was following the rules.

 

How to Develop Self-belief and the Positive Knock-on Effect of Believing in Yourself · [14:46] 

 

Will Barron:

So, with all that said then, Jeff, belief, whether you are doing it because you know it’s right or wherever you are getting good feedback, and you’re just doing it regardless, how do we instil that belief into us? So not necessarily belief that this product is adding a tonne of value to the market because some of that, you can measure it and you know if you’re selling a pile of shit to people and you’re just trying to flog it. You know if you’re actually working for an organisation that’s adding value to market. How do we get the, I guess, self-belief that we can go out into the marketplace and that we can achieve essentially anything that we want?

 

Jeff Bajorek:

That’s a great question. Before I answer that question, I want to point something out. I think there’s a lot of people who overthink the sales process and think it has to be done a certain way. And then when you look at the kid who just starts and he’s full of enthusiasm, or you look at the sales rep who just pops his head in the operating room, actually willing to ruffle a couple of feathers, because you’re not supposed to be ungrounded in an operating room and, “Hey, how’s everything going?” “Hey, can you fix this printer?” “Oh yeah, sure. Hold on. Let me go get a bunny suit on and let me go put scrubs on and I’ll be right in there.”

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And all of a sudden you’re a ray of sunshine at their most frustrating time. A lot of operating rooms, the surgeries are fairly routine, so it’s not that big of a deal, but they’re also, if your operating rooms or anything like ours over here, they’re understaffed, everybody’s got too much to do or they feel they have too much to do and it’s just a grind. So, you’re perfectly timed when you pop in at that time.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

So, how do we work on belief? Well, I think it starts in the mirror. I mean, and I tell people, and it’s funny. I have a little graphic that people can download from my website that says … And, of course, I’m blocked right now because I’m still stuck on this story, but it’s, “I’m the best in the world at what I do. And the really scary part is that I’m only half as good as I’m going to be.”

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And it’s a quote that I came up with a couple of years ago. And I tell people, “If you say that a hundred times in the mirror before you leave for the day while you’re brushing your teeth, you’re going to start to believe it. You’ll have this fire in your belly and you’re willing to run through a wall.”

 

“There’s a lot of people on the planet, but nobody does what you do the way you do it. So, acknowledging that you’ve got this unique set of talents and you’re in a unique circumstance, you bring your own mix. You’ve got your own mix of talents and skills, and that means something. And every day, as you learn something, if you’re willing to learn something, whether you seek it out in a book that you read every day or a podcast that you listen to on a regular basis, or you’re just paying attention to what happens and you’re willing to learn from those experiences, you’re getting better.” – Jeff Bajorek · [17:13] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Well, say that a couple of times, and you start to like the sound of it. “I’m the best in the world at what I do. And the really scary part is I’m only half as good as I’m ever going to be.” And when you think about that statement, what’s the best in the world? Well, I kind of borrowed this from Seth Godin, but the world is the world that you and your customers are exposed to. There’s a lot of people on the planet, but nobody does what you do the way you do it.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

So, acknowledging that you’ve got this unique set of talents and you’re in a unique circumstance, you bring your own mix. I mean, we just talked about this, the experienced sales rep versus the new kid. You’ve got your own mix of talents and skills, and that means something. And every day, as you learn something, if you’re willing to learn something, whether you seek it out in a book that you read every day or a podcast that you listen to on a regular basis, or you’re just paying attention to what happens and you’re willing to learn from those experiences, you’re getting better.

 

“If you can believe that you’re the best in the world, and you can believe that there’s something to be gained by what you do today, you’re going to continually improve.” – Jeff Bajorek · [18:48] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And you’re always going to get better. That this myth about self-improvement that you got to listen to a Tony Robbins lecture, or you’ve got to buy a book or whatever to do it. You don’t even have to seek it out. It’s going to happen so long as you’re paying attention. And that’s where the experience comes into things. And wisdom is your awareness of those experiences and your improvement along those lines. But if you can believe that you’re the best in the world, and you can believe that there’s something to be gained by what you do today, you’re going to continually improve. And if you can just read that statement or some derivative of it, it doesn’t have to be mine. You start to pay attention to those things, and then you get fired up because you start to inherently believe in what it is that you’re doing.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

It starts with believing that you have a value to your family, to your friends, to your customers, to your community. And it starts right here, right in your chest. Do you have a value to yourself? Is there a reason that you wake up every morning?

 

“I know that if you’ve got a reason to get out of bed every morning and do what it is that you do, then there’s a reason to keep going and to do it better today than you did yesterday and so on.” – Jeff Bajorek · [18:55] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Now, I’m not a life coach. I’m not a counsellor. I’m not a therapist. I don’t pretend to be one, but I know that sales and life are very much intertwined. And I know that if you’ve got a reason to get out of bed every morning and do what it is that you do, then there’s a reason to keep going and to do it better today than you did yesterday and so on.

 

Taking Responsibility and Overcoming the Stories We Tell Ourselves · [19:08] 

 

Will Barron:

How much of this is just accepting responsibility for the stories you’re telling yourself? And what I mean by that, Jeff is, and this is what I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. So, I really don’t have that much, if any mental baggage. I’m quite happy with myself. I’m confident. I’ve never really achieved anything too incredible. And hopefully I will do it someday, but I don’t feel there’s anything holding me back. And as I ponder this, and I’m grateful for that. Clearly some people have terrible childhoods or huge tragedies and things like this that hopefully people need to deal with as opposed to kind of brush under the carpet, which is, as a man, is what I do with anything that could potentially pop up like that.

 

Will Barron:

So, with all that said, how much of it is take responsibility? And again, what I mean by this is we are just a collection of stories that we tell ourselves. It might be I am a Republican, I am a Democrat.

 

Will Barron:

That means that I have to do, believe, or say these three or four things. And when I see people arguing online, especially politics, we won’t dwell on politics, but they always start the conversation with, “I am a this and so I believe this,” or, “I am a single father and so X, Y, Z should happen because of the story I’m telling myself.” Well, I guess that isn’t a story. That’s a fact. But what I’m getting at is we control these stories. This isn’t something maybe when you’re seven.

 

Will Barron:

So, I was always told I was a terrible speller. So, then I never bothered learning how to spell. And so, now I’m terrible at spelling. Whereas, if a teacher hadn’t had told me that, and they would have told me the story, “And a little bit of work, and you’ll be incredible at spelling,” I would have then probably done a little bit of work to get the upside of being incredible. And so, this is a story that I do tell myself, because I’m now still bat at spelling. So, how much of this comes down to the responsibility of the stories that we tell ourselves versus having to shape anything else?

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Well, salespeople are professional storytellers. So, there should be some resonance with this audience about the importance of storytelling. And I’ve said this for years, that the most important stories are the ones that we tell ourselves. And they’re the most profound. And they resonate the most. And more often than not, they are either put there for you or they are put there subconsciously. And I hear people all the time. “Oh, I could never do that,” or, “Oh, I’m this. Well, I’m a Republican. We don’t do that.”

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And I’ll go back to Seth Godin and, “People like us do things like this.” That is the narrative. And sometimes that is the biggest narrative to overcome when you’re marketing, when you’re selling, when you’re doing anything. But when you can break through and when you say. “Well, okay. Why,” or, “Why not?”

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And if you’ve got the relationship with someone, or at least you’ve got the credibility to have a relationship with someone, and you can get to that point where they can say, “Well, oh, because I was always told this, so I can’t do that.” “Well, okay. Well, could you?” And then it’s like, “Well, all right. I know you’ve always been told that, and I know you believe that, but at the underneath it all, we also all make choices. So, are you choosing to believe that?”

 

“Sometimes there really are things that you can’t do. But most times, especially in the things that we wish we could do but we can’t, most times it’s a story holding you back.” – Jeff Bajorek · [22:45] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Now, someone who maybe is a combat veteran or something, and maybe they’ve got a below-knee amputation or something like that. There’s some things that they can’t do. There’s a lot of things now that they can do that they didn’t use to be because of technology and the professionals in that regard. But aside from some physical limitation, sometimes there really are things that you can’t do. But most times, especially in the things that we wish we could do but we can’t, most times it’s a story holding you back.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And so, if you’re willing to dig into that, and this is the vulnerability part of it. Not only do you have to be vulnerable with the person that you’re having this conversation with, but you have to be vulnerable with yourself. And that’s where a lot of guys and the masculinity in society and everything, it where it prohibits people from doing that or at least they feel prohibited from being able to do that. And it gets in the way of happiness. That’s just how guys are. Why?

 

“Be who you are, whoever you want that to be, but realise that you’ve made the choice to be that way. And you can make a choice to be different.” – Jeff Bajorek · [23:49] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

I mean, I can even flip that story and say, “Well, if that’s how guys are, and guys are always dominant and guys are always putting up a front and guys are always this, this, and this, then why wouldn’t that same guy be able to make a decision over himself?” “Oh!” And there’s no answer for that. There’s no good answer for that, at least for the person who’s got that narrative behind them. And I’m not trying to make any statements. I’m just pulling examples out. Be who you are, whoever you want that to be, but realise that you’ve made the choice to be that way. And you can make a choice to be different if you would just … But sometimes the things that get in the way are the stories that we tell ourselves like, “I can’t be a salesperson.” I said that. I said that. I say that a lot of times, most recently, about 15 or 16 years ago before I took a job in sales.

 

Will Barron:

Well, most people say that. Most people say, “I could never sell. I couldn’t sell,” without even trying.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Yep. And then a year and a half ago, I came on your show and you said that, “Jeff Bajorek is a world leading sales coach.” And I’m like, “Man! All right. Hey, someone I’ve never even met before. Someone I had not met until I met you on that show thinks that about me.” Like, “Huh. Well maybe, I should change the way I think about me.”

 

“Sometimes you just need to be willing to pay attention to how others see you in order for you to be willing to look in the mirror and change the way you see yourself. And that requires vulnerability and vulnerability is in short supply these days.” – Jeff Bajorek · [25:02] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Okay, look. Look. I knew I had something to offer. There was a reason I came on the show. I was invited. This is not a total jolt, but I’d never heard the words world-class world leader used in front of my name, in front of the sales moniker or a sales profession before. And it’s sometimes you just need to be willing to pay attention to how others see you in order for you to be willing to look in the mirror and change the way you see yourself. And that requires vulnerability and vulnerability’s in short supply these days.

 

Will Barron:

And this goes both ways. If the world thinks you’re a bit of a dickhead, you think you’re awesome, you’re probably a bit of a dickhead, aren’t you? That the market has spoken.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Totally agree. I’m glad I didn’t actually spit my water into my microphone when you said that.

 

Will Barron:

Okay, right. I want to go a level deeper and then we can pull it back out, come back in a second.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Cool.

 

Do People Have a Choice in How They Change The Stories That They’ve Been Told About Themselves? · [25:40] 

 

Will Barron:

I’ve got mixed thoughts on this and I’ll explain why in a second and it’d be relevant. But do you believe that we have the choice to change these decisions or do you believe that we have the free will to make these choices? Or do you believe that our path is set for us by our environment and kind of one decision leads onto another decision, leads onto another decision?

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Oh, man. Yeah. That’s significantly deeper. I believe that we have more under our control than we are willing to admit at first glance. I would also be willing to say that anything in absolute makes me uncomfortable to say that, “Well, absolutely this. It’s all under your control.” I think there’s more under our control than we’re willing to admit at first glance because those narratives are so strong, but there’s probably some stuff when we dig a little deeper, given the environment, given the strength of the narrative, given the communities that we hang out with and how true those narratives become. There’s more to it than that. I think it’s unfair to just say to someone who’s really got it stacked against them, “Well, just fix your situation.” It’s the classic pull yourself up by your bootstraps. We ain’t wearing boots. So, sure. Give me a pair of boots. And I don’t want this to go politically. There’s a lot of things that I feel about a lot of different things politically. And so, that’s a show for probably another podcast, but I think there’s certainly some limitations to how much you can control.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah, because the reason I asked this and this is something I ponder on regularly is that if I … I don’t know. An example doesn’t come to mind that is very specific here that relates to me. But, if I make it a big decision right now, the decision that I made a week ago will affect this decision. Whether I chose to eat good, healthy food last night will affect my mental performance in making that decision. Or, in fact, whether I make a logical decision, which is cool and calm, collected. If I meditated that morning, even more versus if I make an emotional decision, perhaps I’ve just driven to work and there’s all these other kinds of variables and you can go around. Just going to sit on a rock for four hours each morning and get my mind straight and I’m going to be super conscious of all these decisions.

 

Will Barron:

Clearly not applicable for anyone in the audience here, but I’m conscious of and I’m bringing this back to when you said earlier on of essentially we’ve got to choose to be the person that we want to be, or we’ve got to be the person that will get the results that we want to get. So, I feel like we can short circuit this process of being somewhat in control or perhaps control in the moment, but not in control of the larger picture by aiming ourselves.

 

Will Barron:

If I want to turn sales and podcasts of sales [inaudible [00:28:17] that we’re doing into a business that’s doing eight figures in revenue that we can bring people in and give them free coaching, training, whatever it is. And we’ve got office space, then I need to be comfortable not just selling, but I need to be comfortable and have a belief that I can recruit the right people, that I can lead a team, all these other things that I’ve got no experience on. And so, and this is a process I’m going through now. I’m constantly trying to learn a little bit about each of these different areas so that I am becoming the person who can achieve what I want to achieve.

 

Self-Improvement Starts with Choosing to Be the Person You Want to be or Going After the Results you Want to Get · [28:47] 

 

Will Barron:

So, is this a good strategy for salespeople in that if they want to crush their target, that person who crushes the target is probably different to the person they are right now, if they’re not already doing it. Is this how we should perhaps set up some of this thought process of what does that individual have that I don’t? What good habits do they have? What bad habits do I have that they don’t? Long story short and massively overwinded and emphasise question here, is this perhaps a good way to give us some direction with all the self-help, all the self-development that we could potentially be doing?

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Well, I think when you start anything that you know is worth starting, but you don’t know where you’re going to end up. It’s important to look to the left and the right of you and ahead of you a little bit to see what others are doing. And I’ve run into this. I’m almost four years into my consulting business and things are going great and I know I’m helping people, but also, I’ve never done anything like this before. I don’t have a playbook. And you know what’s funny is when I look to other people who are doing it and I’ve got great confidence in the people in my industry and they’ve been so good to me and I try to be good to them. I look and I’m like, “So how do you do it?” I’m like, “Any way I want.” Like, “Yeah. I know. That’s the freaky part. Give me a guidepost.”

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And so, so many times, when I look to the left and right to me, it’s like, “Well, I think I can do that. Oh, I think I can do that. Oh, he’s doing that,” or, “She’s up to this thing. Okay.” I don’t want to do that, but if I’m being honest, I might be able to do that a little bit better.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And so, there’s that self-confidence I call it. I’m just arrogant enough to look to the left and right of me and see if I can do that or if I can move forward with it. And I’m using that environment to see what is being done. 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

So, to your question of what do I need to be in order to accomplish those goals? Or what do I need to be in order to be the salesperson that crushes that target? I think it’s valid to look to see what those people who are crushing their targets are doing. I also think, though, that the danger is making an assumption that people like me do things like this. People like that have to do things like that, because as I’ve gotten closer to the people who do what I do, except for way longer and way better, I look and see that they’re far different people than I am. And they don’t do some things as well as it looks like they may do. And to me, that reminds me of the human in me and the human in them, that they’re not invincible. They’re not infallible. They make mistakes. When you’re looking for that, all of a sudden that stuff feels so much more attainable.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And I think that funnels right back into the belief. It’s like, “Oh, okay. Well this person overcame X, Y, and Z. Oh, okay. Wow. I didn’t even know that,” except they were vulnerable enough and willing enough to have a conversation with me because I asked. I mean, and if I think, and I feel like I’m wandering a little bit here, but I mean, there’s so much pith and meat to this discussion that you have to be careful to not tell yourself a story that isn’t true because that’s how you wish it was going to be.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

So, I think it’s valid to look at real life guideposts and also keep something going in terms of imagining what it might take to get there. But chances are that what you’re doing right now and just doing more of it is not the way to get to where you want to be. There’s the people who are there and accomplishing the things that you weren’t accomplishing, they’re doing something differently than you. The surprise that you will find when you ask those people is that they will almost certainly look at something you’re doing and wish they were doing it better, too. That’s the thing that’s blown my mind more often than anything else is the people that I look up to also look up to me for totally different reasons than I recognise.

 

Will Barron:

And I’ll just add one thing onto that and then I want to kind of put a twist on the tail and we’ll wrap up with that part of the show. So, we’re doing loads of software development with the sales school, working really hard behind the scenes, and it might be towards the end of the year that it’s all built. But I’ve been spending a bunch of time with entrepreneurs that run pretty decent size software companies now. And it’s not AI. Everyone talks about AI, but essentially machine learning to nudge people in the right direction is part of the software that’s coming. And I’m spending time with people who are doing that on a large scale with a lot of data. And I really respect what they’re doing. They’ve got an awesome team. They’re making a freak tonne of money on the backend of things.

 

Will Barron:

And some of these individuals are happy to share that with me. And it allows me to tell a story of, because I sit with them, like, “That is just a dude,” or, “That’s just a woman. I can do all this as well.” And it was really having the curtains pulled away from me putting these individuals on a pedestal was just like, they’ve just been doing it longer. Sure. It’s perhaps arrogant or cocky for me to say that I know the market, that I can do the same thing with our audience. We can build great tools for them and they’ll flock to it. So, there’s an element of assumption there.

 

Will Barron:

But that aside, these individuals are just random people like the … And not about anyone that, and clearly I’ve not sat down with an Elon Musk or someone of that kind of ilk who’s perhaps going to change the human race for the better or the worse. But these people who are running businesses that are doing 10 million, a hundred million, 125 million. They are just literally people. That was really humbling and really eye-opening for me. And I think if you sat down with sales professionals who are bringing in 500 grand, a million. I know two guys who listen to the show. The two dudes that both bring in over five million, literally in cash a year, not the targets, literally in commissions. And I’ll probably never earn that much. And they’re just dudes. They’re really fun to talk to. One of them do Brazilian jujitsu like me. So, we go back and forth on different things that we’re both training on, because he sucks at it as much as I suck at it. And it’s really interesting to go back and forth.

 

Will Barron:

Now, that was really eye opening for me. So, maybe that’s something that we should work into our self-development to get under the wing of someone who’s already kind of been there and done it and it makes it real for us as well.

 

How to Help Buyers with Self-limiting Beliefs Overcome the Stories that They’re Telling Themselves · [35:10] 

 

Will Barron:

But with all that said, Jeff, because that’s another conversation in itself. Just to wrap up this conversation and turns it on its head. How do we go about doing all of this with a customer who is perhaps telling themselves a similar story than what we might be telling ourselves? Perhaps we’re selling some kind of software as a service, as a SaaS product. And they come back to us and go, “Oh, I don’t do technology. I’m averse with technology. I’ll never be able to learn this.” How do we psychoanalyse essentially what we’ve done ourselves, psychoanalyse ourselves, see where we’re holding ourselves back and then convince ourselves with stories that we can achieve pretty much anything. How do we do that to a potential customer who’s got that final hangup, even though we know we can help them, they are scared of technology for example?

 

Jeff Bajorek:

I love this question. I’m so glad you went here because I’m thinking for the last 30, 40 minutes we’ve been talking and it’s like, “Okay. Are there any salespeople still listening? Where are we going with this?” But that’s very much the way that I sell and the way I’ve always sold. And it’s like, “Okay, what is that story you’re telling yourself?” Listen, I’ve got technophobic clients, so this is actually perfectly relatable to where I am right now, but it’s, look, okay. On one hand you can go with, “Well, if I can learn it, you can learn it.” I mean, let’s go. I’m not the most tech savvy person, but I’m not afraid of a lot of things. So, if I can learn this, get a handle on it and use it, then you certainly can. I mean, look at what you’ve accomplished. You’re the CEO of this company, or you’re running this small business, or this is just a shift that you need to make. Look, I’m here to help you make it. I’m here to be along the ride with you.

 

“You have to be willing to be vulnerable with a customer or with a prospect before they’re willing to be vulnerable with you. When you’re asking someone to change the way they do business, because that’s what you’re doing when you make a sale, you’re asking them to change the way they do business, which means they have to be willing to say that they’re not doing it as well as they know they probably could. And that requires that they need to get at least a little bit vulnerable with you.” – Jeff Bajorek · [36:46] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

But the key to that, and as we’ve talked about vulnerability, and we’ve talked about the stories that we tell ourselves is you have to be willing to be vulnerable with a customer or with a prospect before they’re willing to be vulnerable with you. When you’re asking someone to change the way they do business, because that’s what you’re doing when you make a sale, you’re doing it on a small scale or a big scale, you’re asking them to change the way they do business, which means they have to be willing that they’re not doing it as well as they could. They’d be willing to say that they’re not doing it as well as they know they probably could. And that requires that they need to get at least a little bit vulnerable with you.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

And the fastest way to show someone that it’s a safe place to have a conversation like that is to maybe provide an example about how you needed to make a change in the past or how you can show them that, “Look, I’m not infallible. I can make mistakes all the time. I’ve probably made three mistakes on this sales call with you that if I went back and reviewed the tape, I would change about the way I did it. But you know what? We’re still here. And we’ve got an issue that we can tackle together. You and I know that it’s worth tackling. There’s some hurdles we’re going to have to overcome in the meantime. I know that. You know that. Hey. Let’s tackle them together. We can do this. We’ve both done stuff like this in the past. I know we can do it. As long as you believe that it’s worth working through as I do, we’re going to make it.” And that creates a safe space to have a conversation like that. 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

This idea that people know what they need to do, and people are willing to do those things that they need to do. And that they’re two-thirds of the way through their buying process or whatever. You just need to bag up the order and take a credit card at the end. I think, in a lot of cases, it’s absolutely true. In more cases than we’re willing to admit, it’s not. And the fact that I think between a quarter and a third of decisions or of sales are lost to no decision illustrates exactly what you’re talking about. People are afraid to act. You know what? It’s easier to just do nothing. The status quo is fine because the status quo is the status quo. And if more salespeople could be open, if more salespeople could show themselves to be a guide or someone who can help them on that journey to that better state that they want. I think that 25% to a third number would come down quite a bit.

 

Will Barron:

Love it. Love it. Well, that’s a great way to wrap up. And I wanted to ask that question because it’s one thing to focus on ourselves, but we’re all humans and we’re all broken to certain degrees. I know any dude, including myself, is under … Well, I’ll use myself as opposed to offending anyone as to the show. But dudes specifically, I was an idiot until I was 25, 26. Everything I thought I knew beyond, just gone. It’s out the window. It makes no sense. It was just stupid. And I’ll probably say the same when I’m 40 looking back at myself at 32.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

You will, because I do.

 

Will Barron:

Yeah. But when I think like that, it humbles me and it makes me go, “Okay.” So, I’m having a chat with this CFO of this … Well, this is what I’m literally doing in a couple weeks, the CFO of a billion dollar organisation. He’s probably in his 60s. And he’s just a dude. And he’s probably got a lot to teach me. Maybe I’ve got one or two things like insights I can share with him, but he’s just a person. And as soon as I do that, and as soon as I get that out of my mind and I’m excited and respectful and all that kind of stuff that goes along with it, of course, I find my conversations go a lot more seamlessly and I’m a lot less stressed and I’m a lot less robotic on calls like that as well.

 

Jeff’s Advise to His Younger Self on How to Become Better at Selling · [40:16]

 

Will Barron:

So, with that, Jeff, I’ve got one final question. I may have asked you this a little while back and ask you again. And that is, if you could go back in time and speak to your younger self, what would be the one piece of advice you’d give him to help him become better at selling?

 

Jeff Bajorek:

One foot in front of the other. And I’m going to relate this … Yeah. This answer kind of related to what we’ve been talking about the entire time. One foot in front of the other. You want results? I know you want them fast, but time is an important ingredient in the recipe, and there’s a reason you’re not accomplishing what you want to as quickly as you want to. And it’s because you haven’t put in the time yet. You haven’t done the work yet. You’re winning. That’s good. You’re good at what you do. You see all the potential in the world. So do I. As I’m looking back at me 20 years ago, “Keep going.”

 

Consistency and the Time to Success · [41:00] 

 

Will Barron:

Which is the most important message, and I will literally take this on board. One foot in front of the other and consistency, or having the conversation of let’s see what we can do to shorten that time span to success?

 

Jeff Bajorek:

I think no step is too small if it’s headed in the right direction. And I say that to myself. I say that to clients. I say that to my kids. It’s just knowing that you’re headed in the right direction, knowing that that direction may change and that it’s okay. But knowing that you’re headed in the right direction at the moment right now. You’re going to get there when you get there. And, I mean, you get into this urgency around sales targets and things like that. Let’s make sure you’re moving as quickly as you can, but it’s unfair to say that you can move at such a speed if you don’t actually know if you can move at that speed. And so, if you’re measuring yourself against an unfair guidepost, then that throws everything off. And I think that’s what’s important. And some of those metrics are arbitrary and it’s important to call them that.

 

Will Barron:

The reason I asked that is I know that I’ve suffered this in the past. I’m better at it now. I know that there’ll be people in the audience who suffered from this and I do suffer from this. And that is the Instagram lifestyle. You see some little shit of an 18 year old who’s got a private jet. He’s got a gold Rolex on. He’s pulling up in his convertible Bentley. And you’re going, “Why can’t I have all that,” if that’s important to you. Even if it’s not important to you, subconsciously you start to compare yourself.

 

Will Barron:

And I know that all the success that I have and will have, and anything that I’ve ever done well at the handful of things I’m kind of decent at. It’s all just from multiple years of just, as you said, plodding along, step in front of the other, no hacks, no tricks. Unfortunately, even though we tried and go through this on the podcast and create that and reduce that time to success, a lot of it for me is just consistency. So, I just wanted to get your thoughts on that as well, Jeff.

 

“Show up for work every day and learn something so that you’re better tomorrow than you were today. How many overnight successes do you know that took 20 years to get there? Every single one.” – Jeff Bajorek · [43:03] 

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Yeah. No, that’s what it is. Show up for work every day and learn something so that you’re better tomorrow than you were today. How many overnight successes do you know that took 20 years to get there? Every single one. Every single one that I know.

 

Parting Thoughts: Jeff’s Book and the Why and the Buy Podcast · [43:18] 

 

Will Barron:

Good. Well, will that, tell us about the book and especially, as we’re on a podcast, everyone can just do a quick search and sign up and subscribe. Tell us about the podcast as well.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Awesome. Thank you. The book is called The Five Forgotten Fundamentals of Prospecting. I mentioned at the beginning of the show I talk a lot about principles. I talk a lot about the things that underlies sales success, regardless of the playbook that you’re using. And I think that, when it comes to prospecting, whether you prospect outbound, whether you prospect only by inbound, however you do it, if you don’t know what you bring to the table, who your best customers are and who you should be talking to, if you can’t create a little tension, if you can’t show some expertise, and if you can’t keep your swagger about you, which, I mean, that’s the mindset piece that we’ve been talking about all day, you’re going to have a hard time selling. So, regardless of the method you subscribe to, those fundamentals apply.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

It’s a little book. You can download it on the website, Jeffbajorek.com. And I send a message out weekly to my audience where it’s kind of my in real time kind of thoughts. So, you can subscribe to that list as well. Christie Walters and I have a podcast that we have a tonne of fun doing. It’s called The Why And The Buy. You can find it wherever your favourite podcasts are sold. And the cool part about our show is that it really kind of free flowing like this was today, Will. It’s one of the reasons I love your show is there’s a lot of podcasts out there where there’s a set number of questions and we want our guests to answer these things, because our audience comes to hear these answers and those podcasts are great. I’ve been on them. I listen to them. I subscribe to them.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

But how our is a little different is that we give these authors, we give these leaders a place to just come and talk. And we’ve kind of created an environment where you put great salespeople on a call together and you say, “Hey, what do you want to talk about?” There’s always something good that comes out of it. So, we have a tonne of fun on our show, and we’d love to have some of your listeners check it out. And let me know what they think. And let me know what you think. [email protected] It’s the best way to get a hold of me. And I respond to every email. I don’t have an answering service. I don’t have a virtual assistant. I love to connect with people. I do what I do so that I can connect with people and help people. And when emails come in, I respond. So, I hope to hear from some of your listeners and let’s start a conversation.

 

Will Barron:

Good stuff. Well, I’ll link to all that in the show notes of this episode over at salesman.org. But, Jeff, I want to thank you for your time. I want to thank you for kind of holding on the ride there, because I don’t know wherever you expected to go and talk about free will and choices and that kind of thing, as we sat down to record. So, I appreciate your insights and kind of sticking with me on that, mate. And with that one, thank you for joining us again on the Salesman Podcast.

 

Jeff Bajorek:

Thanks for having me again. Anytime. There’s so much more to selling than what’s in that playbook or what’s in that book that you just bought from Amazon. So, talking about this stuff, I think it allows people to look at things a little bit different, maybe with a more open mind and you can approach things differently that way. This is fun.

SALESMAN WEEKLY EMAIL